Bad Santa.

Posted: December 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Once upon a time, not too long ago, my wife, Diana and I were out for a nice walk. It was a chilly Carolina night in December. We were strolling around our busy neighborhood shopping village. As We rounded a corner there was a little girl with her family. She looked up at me and suddenly started shaking, almost uncontrollably. I was a little concerned by this reaction to me, but then I noticed that there was a look of unhinged joy on her face. She did a little completely uncoordinated happy dance. She pointed at me and shouted “SANTA CLAUS!!!” Her parents were totally embarrassed. They unsuccessfully tried to hush her up and hurry her along. Diana reassured them that it actually happens a lot this time of year, it MIGHT have something to do with the big white beard and the equally big belly. Maybe, it’s the elf like stature. I couldn’t believe how excited she was, but then I realized that I was HER Elvis. To a four year old there is no bigger celebrity than Santa. And, let’s face it, if you are going to be mistaken for an icon, you could do worse.

But, suddenly, I realized that I had a huge responsibility. I represented a beloved childhood hero.
There is a responsibility to representation.
I could have crushed her dreams by acting like a jerk. I could have been mean or taken myself too seriously and broke her heart.
I could have been a bad Santa.
Instead I did everything in my power to represent well. My jolly “Have you been a good girl?” was met with wide eyed agreement.
It was a sweet, wonder filled moment that I would have missed if I didn’t represent well.

Everybody is looking for a hero.
We want someone big enough to live up to our hopes and expectations.
I only know one Hero who can stand up under the weight of belief.
If we are Christians we represent that hero.
There is a responsibility to representation.
Do we get mistaken for Jesus?
It’s all about HIS reputation.
Psalms 23:3 says: “He guides me along the right paths for HIS name’s sake.”
The stuff that God does in and with us is for HIS reputation, not ours.
It’s not about my good name.
My reputation is shot, the gig is up. People know me. My name will never be good enough.
BUT, I get a fresh chance to represent my hero.
It’s all about HIS reputation, HIS name (which is above all names).
There is a responsibility to representing His reputation.
If I bear the name Christian, I represent the Christ.
Do I get mistaken for my hero, Jesus?
Do I represent him by how I treat my family, my friends, my enemies, my barista, total strangers?
Do I get mistaken for my hero?
Because, I want to.
I can’t act like a jerk, I can’t take MYself too seriously.
People are looking for a hero. I can’t get in the way.
People are holding out for a hero. I know that Hero. I represent that Hero.
There are sweet, wonder filled moments that I will miss if I don’t represent well.

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